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Author Topic: Tog and Gifts  (Read 4117 times)
tpiro
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« on: July 18, 2005, 03:22:32 am »

I was just wondering what the forum members think about Gifts Ungiven in some sort of Tog variant. I realize that Tog hasn't been that competitive for awhile, but I was hopeful when Gifts was printed that it could strengthen this deck. It seems like Gifts would be great in this deck as a graveyard-filling plus tutoring engine. Why hasn't this been explored much?

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doylehancock
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« Reply #1 on: July 18, 2005, 05:28:56 am »

It could work and I have tried the trans board with 2 togs (though I feel it was horrible). 

My question is: Is Gifts better in tog then intuiton and I personally dont feel it would be.  Gifts makes you combo crazy and yes Tog is a type of combo deck but Intuition +AK is the combo.  If you add gifts you wouldnt be able to run intuiton and without intuition whats the point in running AKs.  For that reason alone I feel Tog is not the way to go but you would always prove me wrong.  Do you have a list?
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jeremy_78
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« Reply #2 on: July 18, 2005, 06:57:55 am »

I just won a mana drain this weekend, with using gifts in tog.  Every deck that runs mana drains should have at least 1 Gifts in it.  I will do a tournament right up on it sometime today or tommorrow, when I get the time.  Basically all I did was cut the deep analysis for 1 gifts, 1 tinker, and cut 1 tog for colosus.  I kept the Intuition AK engine because tog abuses that more so than any other deck, that is why I never worry too much about the ak mirrors.
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« Reply #3 on: July 18, 2005, 09:23:33 am »

But does it really add to the deck? Could you have won those matches with just Tog?
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« Reply #4 on: July 18, 2005, 11:35:01 am »

But does it really add to the deck? Could you have won those matches with just Tog?

Intuition is great, but including one more multi-card tutor is awesome.

You can win with tog off gifts by getting:

yawgmoth's will, recoup, gush, Lotus.

Or, if you hav eseen any of those already (lets say lotus):

Will, recoup, gush, wish.

The gush itself wins you the game combined with berserk and the extra two cards in your graveyard. This setup also allows you to go off if you have wasted a psychatog already.

So yes, I can definitely see the value of gifts in tog.

*EDIT* Most tog builds run one scroll anyway. This is just more broken to add.
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jeremy_78
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« Reply #5 on: July 18, 2005, 12:13:58 pm »

I dont run the recoup in tog, with only one gifts i doesnt make sense.  Your primary draw engine is still intuition/ak.  I just feel the Deep back up is too slow for the environment right now.  It is in my personal opinion that every deck with mana drain should have at least one gifts, it is too broken not too.  When I gifted I used it to set up will or get two broken cards.  Usually Demonic, Mystical, Timewalk, or Ancestral is a good choice.  Or you can add lotus, if you need the accel and you have played one of the three.  With 4 cunnings in the deck and 1 vamp in the board, cunning can join the list to get you that broken sorcery.  And to those who say you dont need the Colosus, tinker can happen early and let you cheat a win.  I did that many times.  The big guy is good at getting around hate.  I played two decks that had at least 4 rebs in the board.
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« Reply #6 on: July 18, 2005, 12:29:35 pm »

Any deck that runs drain can run gifts... And every deck that resolves gifts shoulld be able to do something very broken... regardless of the deck... However, that doesnt make it the optimal card choice. Personally i find recoup to be a terrible card in tog, and running bad cards (well in this deck) to support a single card is probably not worth it. Adding gifts to it just says to everyone (play tormod's crypt!!! plz!!!)
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« Reply #7 on: July 18, 2005, 12:36:04 pm »

I am going to have to agree with you about colossus. It is becoming apparent that you can throw him in any mono blue deck (being that it is a 2 card combo win). I have run recoup in tog every time I include red for a while, it just lets you go completely broken over and over again, maximizing your drain potential. After that, adding gifts is just natural.

Quote
and running bad cards (well in this deck) to support a single card is probably not worth it. Adding gifts to it just says to everyone (play tormod's crypt!!! plz!!!)

Tog doesn't beg this to happen anyway?
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« Reply #8 on: July 18, 2005, 01:21:05 pm »

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and running bad cards (well in this deck) to support a single card is probably not worth it. Adding gifts to it just says to everyone (play tormod's crypt!!! plz!!!)

Tog doesn't beg this to happen anyway?

Sarcasm... Tormod's Crypt hurts tog/gifts/AK/Yawg's will/etc.
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« Reply #9 on: July 18, 2005, 06:45:12 pm »

I dont see the reason why you wouldn't play 1 copy of gifts in tog, at the very least it gives you 2 good cards.  I ve gifted to get a cunning wish last weekend.  I  probably wouldnt play recoup, because I can usually get the will or tinker off the gifts pile.  I would go something like mystical, demonic, cunning, something good (lotus, recall most likely).  I run Vamp in the sb so I can usually get what I want.  The problem is I dont know what you would want to cut for recoup, yes its a strong card but you would have to remove something else.  Togs main plan is to still draw cards off AK's, gifts just gives you a better secondary draw engine than Deep Analysis.
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« Reply #10 on: July 18, 2005, 11:34:41 pm »

I don't think he means that you shouldn't play a copy of Gifts in Tog, I think he was leaning more towards something along the lines of "why play Tog at all?"  If you want to cast Gifts Ungiven, there are just better decks to do it with, where casting a Gifts means GG.  Getting Lotus + Cunning Wish is hardly game over, especially since once they recognize that your Gifts is weaker than in, say, Meandeck's build or BrassMan's build, they could just allow your Gifts to resolve and counter the Wish to gain tempo. 
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« Reply #11 on: July 19, 2005, 07:29:39 am »

As what I was trying to say before, Tog is not a gifts deck nor will it be.  Its main focus is to draw off AK's.  But gifts as a one of in the deck isnt a bad choice.  I used it to fill the deep analysis slot.  The main focus of tog is not to cast gifts and win, gifts is just another tutor for tog.  At this point I see no reason that Tog cant run one gifts.  Most slaver builds are running one gifts, but thier main focus is drawing off TFK.  They are not gifts decks.  If tog were built to be a gifts deck it would run 1-2 more gifts and recoup, taking up more slots than I would want to add.  As with Tog I will usually draw into a cunning wish some time in the game, It's hard not too with 4 in the deck.  Here s the list I won the Mana Drain with:

Tog 2k5

Mana 23
3 Polluted Delta’s
3 Flooded Strand
3 Underground Sea
3 Volcanic Island
3 Island
1 LoA
5 Moxen
1 Lotus
1 Sol Ring

Draw/Tutor 19
1 Ancestral
4 Brainstorm
4 AK’s
3 Intuition
1 Demonic Tutor
1 Mystical Tutor
1 Gifts Ungiven
4 Cunning Wish

Distruption 11
4 FoW
4 Drains
3 Duress

Utility 1
E.E.

Broken Stuff 4
1 Mindtwist (In deck Bc/ of random Meta, which had lots of random Aggro)
1 Yawg Will
1 Time Walk
1 Tinker

Big Guys
1 Tog
1 Colossus

SB:
2 RnR
1 Hurkyls
2 ReBs
1 Pyrobast
2 Coffin Purges
2 Shackles
1 FoF
1 Vamp Tutor
1 Lava Dart
1 Echoing Truth
1 Fling


If the meta wasn't so random I probably wouldn't have ran twist.  With the popularity of gifts decks and the # of misdirections floating around can make it a bad call at times.  I ll try to get a tourney report up later today.
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« Reply #12 on: July 19, 2005, 08:03:42 am »

It could work and I have tried the trans board with 2 togs (though I feel it was horrible).

I tried it, too. Psychatog in a Gifts sideboard (with a Meandeck Gifts build) is so horrible that when Dave Feinstein tested it, he comitted instant suicide and was reborn as some guy in sandals around -4 B.C.



Gifts itself looks strong with Tog on paper, but Intuition/AK is stronger for that purpose simply by giving you more cards to work with. One or two Gifts in Tog together with Deep Analysis looks strong to me, but when you simply use it to get cards to burn for Tog, even cantrips work and are far less cumbersome. If you have trouble with Intuition/AK + Deep Analysis to build a lethal Tog, by all means try Gifts. I think it is just not necessary and too expensive for the result.

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jeremy_78
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« Reply #13 on: July 19, 2005, 08:45:38 am »

Gifts Costs the same as deep analysis, and is cast at instant speed, as I have been saying I run one copy of gifts as a blue instant tutor.  I feel that deep analysis is too slow for the current Environment as it costs 4 and is a sorcery, the main problem is that it is a sorcery.  At the very least you will get two good cards off gifts.  I often end up SB out Deeps bc/ they are only good in the control mirror.  When you face lots of shop, and random aggro they seem uneeded.  The only card I would consider over gifts is FoF, but I like keeping that in the SB.  In my opinion Gifts is too broken not to run as a 1 of in just about any blue drain deck.
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« Reply #14 on: July 19, 2005, 02:15:17 pm »

Deep Analysis draws you four cards for an incredible cost.  Intuitioning for three Deeps against control decks expecting to have to just counter one Accumulated Knowledge is just flat out amazing.
Gifts Ungiven gets you two tutored-for cards, and opens you up even more to Tormod's Crypt (which is a non-issue thanks to maindeck cards like Gorilla Shaman and Engineered Explosives).

Seriously, what are you doing wrong in 'Tog where you can't win with Intuition ---> Accumulated Knowledge or Intuition ---> Deep Analysis?  The only time Gifts Ungiven would ever be good in this deck without running suboptimal cards is right before a Yawgmoth's Will - and Intuition can do the same thing as Gifts Ungiven in that situation at a cheaper price while being synergistic with the rest of the deck.
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« Reply #15 on: July 19, 2005, 02:41:51 pm »

Yes I realize that, that is why Gifts is a one of.  I have been playing tog for a long time now and I still dont care much for deep analysis.  The meta here was random Aggro, and heavy shop.  Deeps are not too good against that.  That is why I choose to run a single copy of Gifts in the deck.  It does fairly well.  I never blindly casts gifts, the bulk of my draw engine is Intuition AK.  I feel in the current state of magic the drain combo decks are too quick for the inclusion of deeps, if I intuition for something it will usually be for ak, since most control decks aren't running it right now.  The only one that I have seen is oath.  Usually Gifts grabed me recall or something else, though a lot of people gave me mystical tutor, which I like.  If I stacked the Gifts Recall, Demonic, Mystical, and Random card X (usually a lotus, or walk), I would get at least two good cards.  I ll take a recall and walk and draw into answers.  People are assuming that gifts is a draw engine in my deck, it is not, it is a blue double tutor.  My deck did not contain recoup to flashback anything, bc/ that takes up more slots and tog doesn't run as much artifact accel as the gifts decks.  As a one of gifts doesn't come up as much as anyone is assuming, and with Tinker/colossus you have an out just in case you see a lot of crypts.  I found it very nice having a way to win without using the graveyard.
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« Reply #16 on: July 19, 2005, 02:56:32 pm »

Merchant Scroll is a better singleton than Gifts Ungiven.
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« Reply #17 on: July 19, 2005, 03:05:10 pm »

It might be, but I like instant draw spells.  I was simply testing gifts in Tog.  Instant Speed Draw suits my play style, if the meta I was playing in was heavy control I would of had 2 deeps main.  The meta was very random, I am not trying to say tog abuses gifts, more or less it is a good instant speed tutor.  If you would ask me what I would replace gifts with, most likely FoF.  But I used gifts a few times and I liked how it worked out in tog.  It maybe that I keep on testing it and I ends up being worse than I thought, than that is fine.  I never claimed for tog to be a gifts deck, just that as a one of it is not that bad.  Here is a link to my tournament report http://www.themanadrain.com/forums/index.php?topic=23928.new#new . The meta was very random and that maybe why gifts was good.  When a meta is random usually the deck with the most powerful cards wins.
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« Reply #18 on: July 19, 2005, 03:28:44 pm »

OK - say I personally was going to run 'Tog down in Chicago (bloody likely, considering my long history with the deck).  the slots I originally left to the two Deep Analysis would become Merchant Scroll and either Gush or Fact or Fiction.  Probably Fact, since I've often screwed myself into the ground by being too aggressive with Gush.

Both of these cards by themselves are stronger than Gifts Ungiven in a random field for the reasons you stated.  In your build, Merchant Scroll finds you Mystical Tutor, which finds you Tinker (not a bad play in itself).  It will also pull up the fourth Accumulated Knowledge, or a Cunning Wish (freeing you to go down to 3).  Not to mention Merchant Scroll often won't get countered, meaning it can get a Force of Will / Mana Drain in a pinch to protect what you already have in hand.

And Fact or Fiction, well, is Fact or Fiction.
I would then replace the freed-up slot in my board with either Skeletal Scrying or Gush.  Since you run the Tinker/Colossus kill, you could even run a singleton Scrying maindeck (I used to do this, it was fantastic but required running an additional black source, and normally I run three Underground Seas).

As for your deck itself, I stopped running Library of Alexandria over the spring, replacing it with Boseiju, Who Shelters All.  Probably more effective even now in the Tinker builds.  I've also squeezed in a Strip Mine and two Wastelands, AND I'm running green (which you'll probably disagree with).
Tropicals aside, Strip and Wastes have worked well in combination with Gorilla Shaman and Engineered Explosives, not just as a mana denial tool (especially with Shaman), but to answer opposing Tolarian Academies sooner, and Boseijus.

Beyond that, congratulations with your placing.
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« Reply #19 on: July 19, 2005, 03:53:21 pm »

Merchant Scroll may very well be better than gifts, I will test that.  It just seems Scroll for Mystical, then mystical for tinker is a bit slow.  With my play style I would most likely want an instant draw spell.  If I was gonna run something over gifts it would probably be FoF.  I would however not cut a Cunning wish, I never did not want to see a cunning wish.  I used to play to UBg, with berserk, its how I won my first mox, I just feel that the UBr version is stronger right now, because of ReB and RnR.  I tried the mana denial route for tog, and didnt care for it.  It had more of a 3cc feel to it.  I like as mana U sources of mana as I can get.  LoA over Boseiju was strictly a Meta call, I agree that it is better.  I traded my LoA months ago bc/ I feel it was uneeded.  The reason I ran LoA over Boseiju was bc/ of the heavy shop meta, and comes into play tapped doesn't excite me, but I like to mention I just picked up a foil Boseiju  Mr. Green!  At the very least, try gifts as a one of and if you dont find use for it dont run it.  As for the Deeps that is Really togs back up draw engine just in case you run into an AK mirror, and it is very good agaisnst control decks as well.  As I said before I just have a preference for instant speed tutor or draw.  When Portal is legalized I may try the new blue mystical tutor (but that will depend on how much Drain decks I expect to see.).   
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« Reply #20 on: July 19, 2005, 04:03:21 pm »

I used to run the UBg version as well, with Back to Basics.  But I was referring to a four-color version - sorry for the confusion  Smile I still feel it's the only way to go with this deck
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« Reply #21 on: July 19, 2005, 05:03:50 pm »

I dissagree with the four color version being the only way to go with tog right now.  It leaves the mana base too vunerable to wastes and esp. the walking armageddon.  Its hard enough playing 7/10 with a three color mana base let alone a 4 color base.  Besides berserk, I don't see what green adds to the party.  I guess naturalize is useful, but you can hit most enchantments with E.E., or bounce them back to their owners hand.  Ground Seal is the best weapon green has but, you can get the same effect out of other cards without sacraficing the mana base.  I love being able to berserk tog but at the same time tweaking the mana base for one card is uneeded.  I myself prefer the UBr.  I guess deed is the one thing green truely adds, but I prefer E.E. to it due to the speed of it.  You can pop EE on the same turn you set.  A lot of this is just play preference.  If the 4 color base works for you by all means keep it.
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« Reply #22 on: July 19, 2005, 10:37:45 pm »

Quote
I was just wondering what the forum members think about Gifts Ungiven in some sort of Tog variant. I realize that Tog hasn't been that competitive for awhile, but I was hopeful when Gifts was printed that it could strengthen this deck. It seems like Gifts would be great in this deck as a graveyard-filling plus tutoring engine. Why hasn't this been explored much? 

Let's focus on this question and not turn this topic into a discussion about the correct number of colors to play in tog.  The question is: "Gifts in tog or no?"  and from that we get: "What does gifts allow tog to do?"  In opinion the only thing that gifts can do for tog is feed yawgmoth's will.  As soon as gifted was released on the mana drain I started thinking about how I could apply the reusing timewalk idea in order to fuel hasted psychatog since he is lethal in a single turn rather than the 2 colossus requires.  The problem is that the cards used by gifts decks are red, and the only possible way to make tog lethal in the time period that gifts can go lethal in is to use berserk.  Suddenly we have mana issues. 

So gifts doesn't allow tog to combo faster, but what about using it as just the great draw spell it is?  So in the average tog deck and variants you have these cards you can gifts for:  ancestral, fof, gush, demonic, mystical, scrying, intuition and deep analysis.  I guess maybe the big ak counts but that right there is the true conundrum.  What does gifts do for this deck that intuition doesn't?  Honestly, the ideal draw engine for tog ignoring metagame considerations is 3intuition, 3deep, 4ak all main.  Intuition fills the role of making yawgmoth's will spectacular.  Gifts doesn't add to the deck.  You can redesign tog to work with gifts, but again I see no benefit.  I played this as draw:

4bstorm
4ak
3intuition
fof
recall
3deep
1 scrying
and one sideboarded gifts.  It is terrible.  Most of the time you end up gifts-ing for:  intuition, fof, recall, scrying and you usually end up with fof and scrying.  This is a semi-strong play in the control mirror, but if you could resolve gifts, you could have resolved fof, intuition for 3deep or huge ass scrying. 

Basically, if gifts doesn't allow you to play multiple time walks, doesn't help you by flashing back yawgmoth's will and doesn't draw cards better than the tools already in use, it is subpar and not consideration for tog.
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« Reply #23 on: July 22, 2005, 06:54:19 am »

I tried Merchant Scroll in place of the gifts slot.  I did not care for it that much.  I want it to be more like Mystical tutor and fect me utility cards like RnR, or other answers.  I think if I was gonna replace it in the md it would become FoF, and I would put Scrying in the SB as a Wish target for drain.  FoF would do better MD, bc, it is blue and pitchable to FoW.  I still havent had an issue with MD gifts.  As a 1 of it doesn't come up as much as you d think.  But it can be useful in getting you tools, such as an Explosives, RnR or Land if you need it.  If need be you can set up the will with it.  I think the problem is most ppl want to use it to take multiple turns, or for Gifts to be as broken in tog as it is in Gifts decks.  The reply to that is it is simply not, and cannot.  My main game plan with tog is still to draw off AK's I intuitioned for.  Gifts is just an added utility card, sort of a blue double demonic tutor.  As for the deeps, I like them, I used to run 2 MD, but then your always (or at least I did) SB them out in the combo, and aggro matchs.  They only shine against other control decks.  That is my analysis so far, I ll probably try the configuration with FoF md over gifts this weekend and see how I like sb scrying.
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« Reply #24 on: July 25, 2005, 06:35:53 pm »

well......in a set comming up there is this card UB: target player discards the top 10 cards of his or her libary i think that would work wonders in tog and other decks as well :p
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« Reply #25 on: July 25, 2005, 06:47:59 pm »

well......in a set comming up there is this card UB: target player discards the top 10 cards of his or her libary i think that would work wonders in tog and other decks as well :p

I dont see how this adds to the gifts discusion, but is the card an instant, sorcery.  Bc/ an instant that takes 1/6 of your deck away is pretty broken for 2 mana.  It sounds more like an ability of a big clunky creature.  I wont use it in tog, doesnt fit into it.  Do you mean for it to take 10 cards away from your opponent, (could be good, could be bad, cough madness, dragon, Misdirection, cough) or do you mean for more tog food by doing your library, bc/ that seems stupid to me, buts thats just me talking.  But back to gifts, as a one of in tog it is a decent utility card, but it has to be late game.  Its hard to say, bc/ I tried FoF, and thats better early game, but gifts is way better in the late game.  Still not stupid broken like a gifts deck but a nice draw piece.
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« Reply #26 on: July 26, 2005, 04:30:50 pm »

i tog is a pretty redundant deck which probably draws cards better than any other deck in the format right now. in addition it runs 4 cunning wish which is one of the decks biggest strengths.

the issue i see in this thread is: what do we do to replace dep anal? ever since fish and wtf got big deep anal has been pretty bad, but passable because there was still slaver and gifts varients that were slow. now that there's a faster gifts variant... and i see a lot less slaver there's absolutely no reason to run gifts... especially since no one else is useing ak's.

i was running 3 deep anals. i have cut them for 3 merchant scrolls. this gives you a much better game vs gifts as well as allowing you access to things like fire/ice against welders or fish. in addition i  use scroll to get wish, intuition, ak, ancestral, fow, mystical tutor, or fire/ice on a regular basis. that's a lot of flexibility when compared to deep anal or gifts. what are you going to gifts for that you couldn't just deal with via scroll?... for less mana. both gifts and deep anal are 4 cc which when facing decks like stax and fish varients is a lot. scroll is useful much earlier than either of those and doesn't loose potency later in the game.

if you want a broken draw spell run fof md and scrying in the sb. gifts is dificult to use in tog because tog has no recursion  so you can't fetch will.... unless you run recoup... in whch case you should run multiple gifts... and then why not play a gifts deck? the only real reason gifts is good is because of recoup (or welder to a lesser extent). in addition, there isn't really any great gifts setup in tog 
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« Reply #27 on: July 26, 2005, 05:01:29 pm »

Since you're running 4 Cunning Wishes, you could use Gifts to fetch out four maindeck instants, remove the two with Tog, and wish for them.
I think that's about the best engine you could do with a 'Tog deck, and it's still kinda bad since you have to rely on 4 Cunning Wishes and you're running either two Togs or one and a Colossus, neither of which would be enough under those circumstances.
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« Reply #28 on: July 26, 2005, 05:25:56 pm »

I would never fun tog without four cunning wishes in the deck.  Its one of the best cards Tog has.  I do not care for merchant scroll in tog.  I played with 1-2 in the deck and it feels slow.  Its hard to justify mercant scroll for ancestral right now.  With gifts decks running rampant I see that as a bad play.  Merchant scroll for wish, is a 5 mana play.  I usually have no problem drawing into wish, bc it is a four of.  I agree that Deeps are too slow right now.  Really we are arguing over a 1 of in my deck.  But there are two cards that I would run in that slot and there are pros and cons to each.  1 is FoF and the other is gifts.  Most of the thread, ppl are against will bc/ you cant abuse it as much as gifts.  Its still a good card.  It is a blue double demonic tutor.  Usually I will gifts for anwser & card draw in the same stack.  Then the opponent has to ask himself do I want to lose my stuff or give him some card advantage.  Gifts is a late game card, FoF is an early play card.  I most likely never remove a gifts card with tog and cunning for it.  I run two kill conditions, be it two togs or 1 tog 1 colossus.  If tog is on the board I will most likely win.  There are only a few times I can remember not winning.  I would rather wish for fling with tog on the board, unless they are a deck that runs Misdirection.  I guess if you dont like my list dont run it.  I ve been doing ok with it, I still dont think Deeps are good in the meta right now, and if they were I probably wouldn't run three, that seems like over kill, unless all you face is control and no one ever plays, aggro, stax, or combo in your meta. 
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« Reply #29 on: July 26, 2005, 08:44:26 pm »

I would never fun tog without four cunning wishes in the deck.  Its one of the best cards Tog has.  I do not care for merchant scroll in tog.  I played with 1-2 in the deck and it feels slow.  Its hard to justify mercant scroll for ancestral right now.  With gifts decks running rampant I see that as a bad play.  Merchant scroll for wish, is a 5 mana play.  I usually have no problem drawing into wish, bc it is a four of.  I agree that Deeps are too slow right now.  Really we are arguing over a 1 of in my deck.  But there are two cards that I would run in that slot and there are pros and cons to each.  1 is FoF and the other is gifts.  Most of the thread, ppl are against will bc/ you cant abuse it as much as gifts.  Its still a good card.  It is a blue double demonic tutor.  Usually I will gifts for anwser & card draw in the same stack.  Then the opponent has to ask himself do I want to lose my stuff or give him some card advantage.  Gifts is a late game card, FoF is an early play card.  I most likely never remove a gifts card with tog and cunning for it.  I run two kill conditions, be it two togs or 1 tog 1 colossus.  If tog is on the board I will most likely win.  There are only a few times I can remember not winning.  I would rather wish for fling with tog on the board, unless they are a deck that runs Misdirection.  I guess if you dont like my list dont run it.  I ve been doing ok with it, I still dont think Deeps are good in the meta right now, and if they were I probably wouldn't run three, that seems like over kill, unless all you face is control and no one ever plays, aggro, stax, or combo in your meta. 

honestly, i scroll for mystical more than ancestral, and i get brainstorm or fow frequently as well. yes,  scroll-> wish is 5 mana, but it's also broken up over 2 turns and ramps mana... i don't see how this is a negative aspect when comparing it to gifts since there's no compareable gifts play. in fact i'd even argue that the fact that your turn 2 scroll can setup your turn 3 wish wich lets you aswer on turn 4 with backup.... gifts will find an answer (or way to find an answer) on turn 4 and then tutor for/cast it on turn 5. really there's no possible way that scroll is actually slower than gifts. whether you like it on not is a different story.... but it's not because it's too slow.... you're replaceing it with a spell that's twice it's cc. i can think of half a dozen cards off the top of my head that i'd love to find room for in tog before i'd run gifts

fof generally is not an early game card because people play around drain, and there are generally more important things to be doing (like wishing or tinkering). gifts is a late game card and i think that's really where most people find gripe with it in tog because you can't just acceletate into a really broken gifts that has any sort of plan. getting an answer and draw is fine and all, but it's somewhat more defensive than tog needs to be, and i really see a lack of an aggressive gifts setup.
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